VT Masonic News
CHARLESTOWN, New Hampshire -- The Board of Directors for the Fort at No. 4 today announced Olive Branch Lodge #64 (Chester, VT) will be assisting in efforts to reopen the living history museum in Charlestown, NH.
Due to economic pressures, the Fort at No. 4, a living history museum and historical education center, did not open for operation in 2009 and has not opened for 2010. The Board of Directors has struggled during this time to garner the resources necessary to reopen the Fort. The Board was approached by Olive Branch Lodge # 64 of Chester, VT offering to help. After in depth consideration the Fort’s Board reached an agreement with Olive Branch to accept their assistance. “The Fort at No.4 has been an important historical education center within the Connecticut River Valley,” said Olive Branch Lodge Secretary Donald Webster. “We did not want to see the Fort remain closed and add to the threatened loss of colonial and early American historical centers.” Fund raising, marketing and volunteers will be a large part of the Lodge’s efforts. Webster continued, “We will be looking to other lodges throughout the region to join Olive Branch Lodge in support for the Fort.” With this in mind discussions are already underway with representatives of Faithful Masonic Lodge #12 in Charlestown.
Councilor Raymond Burton, New Hampshire Executive Council Representative for District I, understands both the difficulties the Fort at No. 4 has faced, and the opportunities the Masons bring to the Fort. Burton stated, “The Fort at No. 4 will continue to be a place and source of information for all ages far and wide because of the Masons of New Hampshire and Vermont. This new effort will preserve for the future a valuable piece of New England History. I will do whatever I can to support and enhance this project.”
The Board emphasized that there will be a need, in addition to the Masonic help, for the support of the community to reopen the Fort. The Board will make every effort to continue to work with the greater community of Charlestown to return the Fort to the vibrant life it once displayed. Early American Historical Education will remain the focus of the Fort.
New Board member and noted historian who directed Fort Ticonderoga for 20 years, Nicholas Westbrook commented, “During desperate decades in the middle of the 18th century, the Fort at No. 4 protected the northern frontier of New England. For the past 50 years, the Fort has been a vital center for telling that story. Our 18th-century ancestors placed that responsibility in the hands of ‘posterity.’ That would be us, each of us today. So I applaud the visionary commitment of the Masons to the larger community for this renewed effort to keep alive the story of America’s colonial beginnings.”
Board member Thomas Johnston, IV, Masonic Grand Master for Vermont, noting that the first Masonic Lodge for Vermont was chartered in Charlestown during 1781, stated, "We congratulate the masons of Vermont and New Hampshire for taking the lead to revitalize and maintain the museum at Fort No. 4. For centuries Masons have worked to preserve an accurate record of our nation's history so it is only fitting that Vermont and New Hampshire Masons will join together to help preserve this notable piece of our past."
“This is very exciting,” said Jeff Kibbe. “As a Board member, and a member of Olive Branch Lodge, I know the energy and commitment to community the Masons bring to the Fort. Masons have been involved with the Fort at No. 4 since its first construction back in the 1740s. And as a living historian I am really excited with the prospect of reopening the Fort.”
The Board intends to host events at the Fort this summer while preparing for a full reopening of the Fort at No. 4 in the spring of 2011. Additional details of the Fort’s plans and progress will be released in the near future.
For more information, contact: : Paul Truax (802) 875-3800 email@example.com
Brother Merlin T. Doyle, a member of George Washington Lodge No. 51, Chelsea, Vermont has been appointed to be the representative at the Veterans Hospital in White River Jct., Vermont. He replaces Brother Lunnie W. Clark who died on July 27, 2007. We are looking for a Deputy for Brother Doyle.
Brother Doyle is a retired farmer in Chelsea. Also, he has been very active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (VFW) He is a Past President of the VFW in Vermont. This makes Brother Doyle a natural for the Hospital Visitor at the Veterans Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont.
If anyone knows of a patient in the VA Hospital, be sure and let Brother Doyle know.
Fletcher Allen Hospital - Burlington
Brother Thomas C. Bailey, a member of Ethan Allen Lodge No. 72, Essex Jct., Vermont is representative at the Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, VT. If anyone knows of a patient in the Fletcher Allen Hospital, be sure and let Brother Bailey know.
At Grand Lodge in June, Brother Campbell, Grand Master, recognized our Representative at the Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vermont. Brother Thomas C. Bailey has served more then 17,000 hours and 24 years as the Masonic Hospital Visitor at the Fletcher Allen Hospital. Brother Tom is one of the most thoughtful persons you will ever want to meet. He is a member of Ethan Allen Lodge No. 72, now meeting in Williston, Vemront.
Vermont Veterans Home - Bennington
This position is currently vacant.
For addresses and phone numbers for the Brothers above, please contact your Lodge Secretary or the Grand Secretary.
For more information about the Masonic Service Association of North America and the Hospital Visitation Program, please see their web site.
Cedric L. Smith, PGM, R.W. Grand Secretary